Why I Resigned From Education Next

by Guest Blogger
February 13th, 2008

New York Sun

by Diane Ravitch

The New York Sun (Feb 13) reported that I resigned from the editorial board of Education Next because that magazine has just published an article implicitly endorsing Mayor Michael Bloomberg for President. That is not entirely right. I was not thrilled about the endorsement, inasmuch as the editorial board had not been consulted. But my reason for resigning was that the article was a puff piece for reforms that thus far are not working.

NYC is hardly a paragon of education reform. Annual spending has increased from $12.5 billion to nearly $20 billion under Mayor Bloomberg. Yet NAEP scores showed no gains in 4th grade reading, 8th grade reading, or 8th grade mathematics.

The school system devotes inordinate resources to testing and preparing for tests, to constant measurement and evaluation, while paying negligible attention to curriculum and instruction. This strategy has not worked, has not even produced impressive test score gains. Saddest of all, even if it did produce large test score gains, the students would still not be getting a good education.

 Update:  You read it here first, but Diane Ravitch has more to say in an op-ed in this morning’s (Feb 15) NY Sun –rp.

Merit Pay? Or Pay Increase?

by Robert Pondiscio
February 13th, 2008

Perhaps Woody Allen was right when he said the 90% of success is just showing up. Nearly every one of the 600+ teachers in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district earned a $2,000 bonus under Minnesota’s “Q Comp” program, meant to reward quality teaching. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports in the 2006-07 year, 603 teachers “exceeded standards,” and six “met standards.”

Not a single one fell below standards.

Asked about the six who merely met standards must feel, state Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, laughed. “Those must be the ones under indictment or something,” he told the paper. A merit-pay system that isn’t more selective, he said, is simply a pay increase.